History of the FBI
A Brief History of the FBI
1908: At the request of President Theodore Roosevelt, an investigative branch of the Department of Justice was created. It was headed by Chief Examiner Stanley Finch.
1917: J. Edgar Hoover began working with the Department of Justice legal staff.
1920: Prohibition began. Gangsterism began its rise in the United States.
1924: J. Edgar Hoover was named Acting Director of the Bureau of Investigation. By 1924, there were 650 employees, including 441 Special Agents.
1929: Al Capone was arrested by Bureau Agents.
1932: The FBI Laboratory was established
1933: The Bureau of Investigation became the Division of Investigation. The Kansas City Massacre occurred.
1934: John Dillinger was killed by Federal Agents in Chicago.
1935: The Division of Investigation became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
1940: The Disaster Squad was created when the FBI was called upon to identify its employees involved in an airplane crash in Virginia.
1950: The FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” Program began.
1963: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. President Johnson ordered the FBI to investigate.
1966: President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act.
1967: National Crime Information Center (NCIC) became operational.
1972: The new FBI Academy was opened on the United States Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia.
1974: The Behavioral Science Unit formed to investigate serial rape and homicide cases.
1978: The use of laser technology to detect latent fingerprints was initiated.
1983: The Hostage Rescue Team became operational.
1984: National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) was established at the FBI Academy. A Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) was established to help find offices retrieve computer evidence. The Crisis Management Unit (CMU) was also formed.
1985: The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) was created by the Department of Justice.
1988: By 1988, the FBI employed 9,663 Special Agents and 13,651 support personnel.
1992: FBI Lab established its own Evidence Response Team (ERT).
1994: The Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) was created to more effectively deal with hostage-taking and barricade situations.
1995: Announcement of an undercover investigation, “Innocent Images,” which targeted child pornography over the internet.
1997: Timothy McVeigh was convicted of the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.
1999: Osama Bin Laden was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for his alleged involvement in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
2001: Director Mueller announced a reorganization of FBI Headquarters to meet evolving challenges. The Behavioral Analysis Units (BAU) were created under the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC).
2004: The Highway Serial Killings Initiative is launched.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2010). FBI history. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2008). The FBI: A centennial history, 1908-2008. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/fbihistorybook.htm
Holden, H. M. (2008). FBI 100 years: An unofficial history. Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company.